BCAA and benefits in sport

There are 20 different amino acids that make up the thousands of different proteins in the human body.

Nine of the 20 are considered essential amino acids, meaning they cannot be made by your body and must be obtained through your diet.

“Branched-chain” refers to the chemical structure of BCAAs, including leucine, isoleucine and valine, which are found in protein-rich foods such as eggs, meat and dairy products. They are also a popular dietary supplement sold primarily in powder form.

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Here are 3 benefits of BCAAs in sport, which are proved by researches:

1. Increase Muscle Growth
Contrary to most other amino acids, BCAAs are mostly broken down in the muscle, rather than in the liver. Because of this, one of the most popular uses of BCAAs is to increase muscle growth.
In one study by 2017 on male, people who consumed a drink with 5.6 grams of BCAAs after their resistance workout had a 22% greater increase in muscle protein synthesis compared to those who consumed a placebo drink.
However, while BCAAs can increase muscle protein synthesis, they can’t do so maximally without the other essential amino acids, such as those found in animal protein like red meat, poultry, fish, egg, milk and milk products, quinoa.

2. Decrease Muscle Soreness
It’s not uncommon to feel sore a day or two after a workout, especially if your exercise routine is new. This soreness is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which develops 12 to 24 hours after exercise and can last up to 72 hours.

Several studies show that BCAAs decrease protein breakdown during exercise and decrease levels of creatine kinase, which is an indicator of muscle damage.
In one study in Nagoya University in Japan, people who supplemented with BCAAs before a squat exercise experienced reduced DOMS and muscle fatigue compared to the placebo group.

3. Reduce Exercise Fatigue
Beside decreasing muscle soreness, BCAAs help to reduce exercise fatigue during training. How quickly you tire depends on several factors, including exercise intensity and duration, environmental conditions and your nutrition and fitness level.
In two studies carried out in Poland and Sweden, participants who supplemented with BCAAs improved their mental focus during exercise, which is thought to result from the fatigue-reducing effect of BCAAs. However, this decrease in fatigue is unlikely to translate to improvements in exercise performance
So which are the sources of BCAAs?
In fact, besides supplement, BCAA could be found in popular food such as:

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Overall, BCAAs include 3 essential amino acids: Leucin, Isoleucin and Valine. However, these could not be synthesized by the body, but must be provided by food intake.
In PVF Academy, players use BCAAs under supervision of nutritionist. BCAAs will be provided in suitable training sections in order to boost muscle growth optimally, reduce soreness and fatigue during exercise.

  •  Trâm Anh/PVF

References::
(1) Shimomura Y, Yamamoto Y, Bajotto G, Sato J, Murakami T, Shimomura N, Kobayashi H, Mawatari K., Nutraceutical effects of branched-chain amino acids on skeletal muscle. J Nutr. 2006 Feb;136(2):529S-532S.
(2) Jackman SR, Witard OC, Philp 3, Wallis GA, Baar K, Tipton KD, Branched-Chain Amino Acid Ingestion Stimulates Muscle Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis following Resistance Exercise in Humans. Front Physiol. 2017 Jun 7;8:390. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00390. eCollection 2017.
(3) Shimomura Y, Inaguma A, Watanabe S, Yamamoto Y, Muramatsu Y, Bajotto G, Sato J, Shimomura N, Kobayashi H, Mawatari K., Branched-chain amino acid supplementation before squat exercise and delayed-onset muscle soreness. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2010 Jun;20(3):236-44.
(4) Wiśnik P, Chmura J, Ziemba AW, Mikulski T, Nazar K., The effect of branched chain amino acids on psychomotor performance during treadmill exercise of changing intensity simulating a soccer game. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2011 Dec;36(6):856-62. doi: 10.1139/h11-110. Epub 2011 Nov 3.
(5) Greer BK, White JP, Arguello EM, Haymes EM. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation lowers perceived exertion but does not affect performance in untrained males. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Feb;25(2):539-44. doi: 10.1519.

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